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Best True Crime Podcasts To Debut In 2021

From unsolved cases to wrongful convictions.

true crime podcasts 2021
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  • Photo Credit: Wondery

If you have the inclination to undertake an exploration of some of the world’s most nefarious characters, you are in luck. In 2021, several of the most anticipated true crime podcasts will release with in-depth analysis on iconic serial killers, unsolved cases, and inexplicable deaths. As new developments in technology have allowed for some of the most unsolvable cases to reach a resolution, these podcasts promise to keep their audiences up to date with the latest findings, as well as the dead ends that remain just that—dead. 

Related: The Best True Crime Podcasts of 2020

Whether your interests include Hollywood’s darkest history, unsolved murders, wrongful convictions, or cults, 2021’s latest and upcoming true crime podcasts are guaranteed to keep audiences hooked from beginning to end. Maybe they'll even prompt you, the listener, to conduct your own detective work in hopes of solving the most heinous crimes known to humankind.

Without further ado, here are the most anticipated upcoming and recently released true crime podcasts that are essential for your listening queue this year. 

The Apology Line

On January 4, 2021, The Apology Line released with an unforgettable introduction. The podcast is hosted by Marissa Bridge and features Mr. Apology, an anonymous individual who opened his ears to a plethora of callers for approximately 15 years. After leaving a mysterious phone number in Manhattan, New York, he prompted callers to apologize for their deepest regrets, mistakes, and harmful activities. As the story unfolds, Mr. Apology becomes consumed by his callers’ stories, leading him down his own path of destruction. Bridge knows Mr. Apology better than anyone, but you’ll have to tune in to find out just how close she was to a man who embraced the darkest secrets of seemingly innocent people. 

The Clown and the Candyman

The Clown and the Candyman premiered in December of 2020, but it didn’t delve into the nitty gritty of its true crime cases until 2021. While the title may lead someone to believe that it will be another podcast focused on John Wayne Gacy—the infamous serial killer who posed as a birthday clown—it is far more unique. In actuality, The Clown and the Candyman features true crime cases and urban legends that pertain to children and teenagers. From stranger danger to a Boy Scouts honor code, this podcast will make you question just how unsafe the world can be for the world’s most innocent groups.

Related: 17 Real and Creepy Hometown Legends to Read About Tonight

Red Collar

If you’re looking for a podcast about crimes of passion, murders spurned by jealousy, and good people turned bad, look no further than Red Collar. While prolific serial killers like Richard Ramirez, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy may dominate the airways of major news stations, radios, and television programming, there are countless cases about people who unexpectedly snap. The darkness of the world expands beyond common conceptions, and host Catherine Townsend ensures her audience is aware of this fact.

Related: 8 Books About People Who Killed for Love

Cadaver Gals

Have you ever wondered what happens to a body that's lost at sea, burned beyond recognition, or decomposed under bizarre circumstances? Well, Cadaver Gals has the answers you may be looking for. Including true crime cases, the three hosts of the podcast detail the strangest ways people have died and decomposed throughout history. Cadaver Gals may not be for people with weak stomachs, but it is surely worth a listen regardless. However, we do recommend holding off on eating before tuning in. 

Death of a Starlet

Tales about starlets dying before they reach their prime permeate throughout Hollywood. In Death of a Starlet, hosted by Tracy Pattin, they detail the three men who may have had a hand in Dorothy Stratten’s murder. At only 20-years-old, the Playboy Playmate, muse, and up-and-coming actress was found dead. But who killed her? Perhaps it was Hugh Hefner, director Peter Bogdonovich, or her husband, Paul Snider. Tune into Death of a Starlet to uncover the mystery behind Stratten’s death. 

Related: 9 Chilling and Mysterious Old Hollywood Deaths

Tenfold More Wicked

Paring true crime with investigative journalism, the hosts of Tenfold More Wicked detail gruesome murders throughout history. Whether these crimes took place in small towns or major cities, the details behind them are given special attention that could lend more insight into what actually took place. The darkness of the past blends with the bleakest portions of the present when Tenfold More Wicked exposes the truth in a unique journalistic fashion.

Related: 8 True Crime Books About Bizarre Murders That You Might Not Know About

Wrongful Conviction

Not every conviction is righteous. In fact, some of them are so wrong that it leads innocent parties to live out their days behind bars while the true criminals walk free. In Wrongful Conviction, Jason Flom presents interviews with men and women who have been wrongfully committed to a life in prison for crimes they did not commit. As interesting as the interviews are, there are some that cannot take place, as some of these individuals met their fate on death row. Wrongful Conviction exposes true crimes and the people who fell victim to an undeserved life of imprisonment.

Related: 14 Eye-Opening True Crime Books About Wrongful Convictions

Power: The Maxwells

Ghislaine Maxwell’s name is well-known in true crime circles, especially since her name has become forever tied to her alleged criminal partner, Jeffrey Epstein. In Power: The Maxwells, her familial history is exposed for its dark undertakings, even those that may have led to her supposed involvement with Epstein. There’s a lot of information that remain unknown of the Maxwell family and this podcast will surely inform its listeners of any and all aspects of their lives. If your interests include contemporary true crime, look no further than Power: The Maxwells

Chicano Squad

Approximately 40 years ago, an all-Latino homicide unit was created in Houston, Texas. After years of the Latino community facing egregious amounts of discrimination and being targeted by police violence, the 5-person unit was created. They were assigned to some of the most heinous crimes in the Houston area. In Chicano Squad, their lives and experiences in the police department are detailed with special attention given to their loyalties to each other and their city. 

90s Crime Time

Simone Taylor’s 90s Crime Time highlights the crimes that took place during the iconic decade that popularized the grunge look and Riot Grrrl feminist punk rock. There are numerous lesser-known crimes that took place during this pivotal decade, and Taylor aims to highlight just how horrific this moment in history could be. The podcast isn’t limited to murder—90s Crime Time also includes kidnapping, theft, and more. If you’re interested in discovering the bleakest parts of the 90s, Simone Taylor’s podcast is perfect for you. 

Unraveled: Long Island Serial Killer

Alexis Linkletter and Billy Jensen co-host Unraveled: Long Island Serial Killer. After ten years, the bodies that were discovered on the coast of Long Island remain a mystery. It is known as one of the biggest murder mysteries in American history, as leads have grown cold and dead ends have remained unchanged for years. In Unraveled: Long Island Serial Killer, the hosts delve into the evidence that currently exists as well as the victims, possible suspects, and the police corruption that may have attributed to the difficulty of solving this particular case. The contemporary nature of these murders makes this podcast one of the most grueling to listen to, especially when the killer is still at large.

Related: UPDATE: Investigators Release New Evidence in the Chilling, Years-Long Cold Case of the Long Island Serial Killer